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SPECIMEN OF POETRY,

IN THE YEAR 1190.

KING RICHARD, I understonde,
When he went out of En-ge-londe;
Let make an axe, for the nones,
To break therewith the Sarasyns bones.
The head thereof was wrought full weel,
Therein was twenty pounds of steele ;
And when he came to Cyprus londe,
This axe taketh he in honde,
The Griffons* fast away they rapp’d
All that he hit, he also frapp'd.t
And the prison when he came to,
With his axe he smote right thro'
Dores, barres, and iron chaynes !

WARTON.

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SUMMARY OF THE REIGN OF

JOHN,

SURNAMED

SANS TERRE, Or LACKLAND.

Born in London, A. D. 1166. Crowned at Westminster, 1199. Married thrice, first to Alice, daughter of Hugh, Earl Morton; next to Avisa, heiress of Glocester, whom he repudiated, and married Isabella, daughter to Aimar, Earl of Angouleme; he had issue only by his third wife, viz. Henry, his successor; Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and King of the Romans; Joan,* espoused Alexander II. of Scotland; Isabella, consort to the Emperor Frederick II.; and Eleanor, married first to William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, and afterwards to Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester. He left also six natural children. He reigned seventeen years and a half. Died in 1216, and was buried at Worcester.

Principal Events.

Wars with France. The King of Scotland pays homage at Lincoln. Quarrels with the Pope, manly resistance and subsequent mean submission of the King to the See of Rome. The King and kingdom excommunicated. The French fleet destroyed. A revolt of the Barons, and the signature of Magna Charta. London-bridge first built of stone.

Eminent Persons. Prince Arthur, nephew to and supposed to be murdered by the King. Gerald Barry, better known as Giraldus Cambrensis. Gervase, of Canterbury, and Ralph de Dreese,

* This amiable Princess was styled Joan Makepeace for her constant and successful endeavours to keep England and Scotland in amity.

celebrated

celebrated writers and historians. Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbary, divided our Bible into chapters and verses. The Earl of Salisbury, who defeated the French fleet. Robert Fitzwalter, chosen General of the Baron's army. John de Courcy, Earl of Ulster, famous for his strength and prowess. Fitzpeter, great justiciary of Eugland..

COTEMPORARY SOVEREIGNS.

Popes.
Honorius III. 1215.

Innocent III. 1198.

Emperors. Of the East.-Alexis III. 1195. Alexis IV. 1203. Alexis

V. 1204. Theodore I. 1205. Of the West.-Philip, 1197. Otho IV. 1208. Frederick II.

1211.

Kings.
Of France.-Philip II. 1180.
Of Portugal.-Sancho I. 1185. Alphonsus II. 1212.
Of Denmark.--Waldemar II. 1202.
Of Scotland.-William, 1165. Alexander II. 1214.

John. JOHN.

"When England's ancient Barons, clad in arms,
"And stern witu conquest from their tyrant King
"(Now render'd tame) did challenge and secure
"The charter of thy freedom." Akenside.

"Wheu faithless John usurp'd the sully'd crown,

"What ample tyranny! Six tedious years

"Our helpless fathers in despair obey'd

"The Papal interdict; and who obey'd

"The Sov'reign plunder'd." Shenstone.

"Throw thine eye "On yon young boy.—I'll tell thee what, my friend, "He is a very serpent in my way, "And wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread "He lies before me." Shakespeare.

"No Italian Priest "Shall tithe or toll in our dominions; "But, as we, under heav'n are supreme head, "So under him, that great supremacy, "Where we do reign, we will alone uphold. "So tell the Pope; all reverence set apart "To him, and his usurp'd authority." Ibidem.

K. John. "Thus have I yielded up into your hands "The circle of my glory."

Pandulph. "Take again,

"Prom this my hand, as holding of the Pope
"Your sovereign greatness and authority."

Shakespeare.

At length a dawn of freedom 'gins to streak
The gloomy horizon! and Lackland's reign,

Most

Most inauspiciously begun, concludes
With privilege for which our fathers fought,
Knee-deep in slaughter; and, to which their sons,
True to each other, ever will adhere.

Success but seldom blest the claim of right
In days when strength and skill too frequent won
The regal circle ; else had Arthur's name,
With supercession legal, graced the roll
Where John's is now recorded—but what is,
We're told is right.—Had Arthur, haply, reign'd
His milder sway had fail'd create the cause
Which did the glorious great effects produce,
Of England's freedom, and of England's rights.
As if too conscious of his tottering claim,
And, that his crown sat lightly on his head,
Four times inaugurated was the King.

Philip of France, whose envy ne'er cou'd bend
The warlike mind of RICHARD, now declares
Against the title of his brother John,
And in behalf of ARTHUR, claims the throne.

ARTHUR!

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